These last couple of weeks the weather was nice before it turned cold and rainy. It looks like as we head into the weekend it will be sunny and very hot! With summer weather fast approaching and as COVID-19 related restrictions on daily activities are lifted, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) reminds residents to take recommended precautions in preventing tick and mosquito bites, water and pool safety, window safety, and car safety.
Most of the mandates and regulations relating to Covid have been lifted as of May 29th. It was certainly strange, but liberating, walking into the grocery store without a mask after all this time; I’m sure many of you are having similar experiences as we emerge from this pandemic. If you aren’t quite comfortable not wearing them yet, that’s perfectly fine too.
Over the last couple of weeks, I have attended many great events and meetings and some of these are highlighted below:
There was a good crowd for the Memorial Day celebration at Parker Park. Thanks to American Legion Post 124 for a great job and all the veteran organizations that make remembering our fallen heroes a special event! After 20 years in the Army, this is truly a special day for me to remember those that were leaders and soldiers I knew and served with that gave the ultimate sacrifice.
Another huge congratulation is owed to Westfield’s class of 2021. They have made it through an extremely tough two years and will certainly lead us into the future with the resilience they demonstrated during this pandemic. It was a privilege to attend the graduation ceremony for Westfield Technical Academy and when submitting this and weather permitting, the Westfield High School ceremony on Friday night. I wish all the students in Westfield the best of luck and can’t wait to see all that they accomplish going forward.
I attended a briefing on a Bill submitted at the State House about An Act to End Child Marriage. Like most of you, I did not know child marriage was allowed in Massachusetts. It turns out that with a parent’s permission and a judge’s approval, children under the age of 18 can marry. Over 1,000 children in Massachusetts have married since 2000 with the youngest being 13 years old. This act would eliminate that loophole and not allow marriage until 18 years old. I am proud to say that I am a Co-sponsor on this Bill.
It was an honor to attend a going away reception for Westfield State University Interim President Dr. Roy Saigo. It was nice sitting down and talking to him and his wife about their future and thanked him for a great job during his time overseeing WSU.
I also attended a groundbreaking ceremony at Barnes Air National Guard Base with Governor Baker, Lt Gov Polito, U.S. Congressman Neal, Secretary Kennealy, Major General Keefe, Col. David Halasi-Kun, Mayor Humason, Westfield Councilors Figy, Sullivan, Onyski, Mello, Matthews-Kane, Airport Commissioner Kate Phelon, and Airport Manager Willenborg. Later that evening I joined Senator John Velis and Westfield Bank President James Hagan to throw out the first pitch at the Starfire Baseball Team’s opening game. It was great watching these skilled players, and they even won the game with a walk-off in the tenth inning! It was much different than watching my nine-year-old’s baseball team that I am an assistant coach for.
This past week I attended my first PFAS Interagency Task Force meeting, where we set the schedule for the rest of the year before a report will be published for the state early next year.
I also attended the second annual Progress Pride Flag Raising at City Hall, where retired Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Judge John Greaney won the first-ever Westfield Pride Alliance Equality Award for his concurring opinion that allowed gay marriage in Massachusetts in 2003.
I would again like to wish a Happy Birthday to Harriet Gilman who celebrated her 100th birthday at Armbrook Village on Wednesday. It was great seeing her; I do not think she ever ages. With both of us being from Chester, she remembered me and my family and asked about the house I grew up in.
We are proud to announce a new member of our team; Aiden Chisholm has joined us as an intern for the summer. Aiden is a lifelong Westfield resident currently attending Trinity College in Hartford studying Political Science, International Studies, and Hispanic/Arabic Studies. He hopes to gain real world political experience and assist Ethan and I in serving Westfield.
We continue to help constituents with various issues. If you are having problems contacting or getting an answer from Departments or Agencies within the Commonwealth, please reach out to us and we will help to the best of our abilities to get a resolution.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Ethan or I at: [email protected] or [email protected] or by calling our office at 413-875-8787. We are located at 94 N Elm St Suite 301N in the Westwood Building.
State Representative Kelly Pease